Monday, March 24, 2014

Heading Home by Renee Riva

Typical A. J.: The rowboat smashes into the dock with a thud. A startled mallard plunges into the lake and paddles quickly away. “I’m home!” I yell at the top of my lungs. I’ve waited eight long years to hear myself say those two words again.

Quick note: I haven’t read the other two in the series, so maybe some of my thoughts on Heading Home aren’t the same as the ones others would have. And at least one spoiler is in there, sorry!

A.J. has been in Italy for 8 years. Now she is finally going back to her home on the island! There she is reunited with her dog Sailor and friend Danny. Has he grown up! The two of them seem to like each other more than just friends. But A. J. was thinking about becoming a nun. And nuns can’t marry. Now A.J. is torn between what she believes to be her calling and her love for Danny. What does God have in store for her?

A. J. is a 18-year-old girl with a wonderful sense of humor. I have laughed at what she says numerous times. An original character, I think. The nun/true love problem is unique too. And her family is large and provides a source of entertainment as well.

Sadly though, mostly there wasn’t that much on living the faith. A. J. would go on with her life and then all of a sudden she thinks about God for a few scenes. And then He’s not there for a while again. Lost in “the fun stuff” A.J. is doing, I guess. Another disappointment was that the whole nun problem was solved too easily and by about the middle of the book! And then the other half was mostly about them planning the wedding. Maybe this is the climax of the whole series and is worth half a book if you’ve read the other two. But if you only have read this one book, it gets boring easily. There is this other problem about them marrying: what church should they be married in? She’s a Catholic and he’s a Baptist. And there’s some discussion about God around that. But when that problem is solved, God is mostly not mentioned till the wedding where she says “thanks” a couple times. Sad.

To sum that all up, Heading Home is a book I suppose is better read after the other two in the series. It is a light read with a lot of good, clean humor. But if you want something that really encourages your faith, you just might want to pick up something else. 

For more on Renee Riva, visit her website.

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